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Hiking and Backpacking: The First Step

Discover what you've been missing!  Learn to get away from it all by preparing for day-trips or weeklong expeditions, then start exploring your own special paradise on foot.  Class covers essential equipment, hiking safety, and questions raised by participants.  You'll also learn about some great places to hike using your new-found knowledge.

Who Is Invited

Open to ages 12 and older; participants under 18 must be accompanied by a legal guardian.  

Registration & Fees

Registration required for EACH participant.  Sorry, no group registrations.  Natural Area entry fees apply; stop at the Entrance Fee Booth to self-pay/register. 

When & Where to Meet

Arrive by 1:15 pm. Meet in the Exhibit Gallery next to the Visitor Center.  Plan ahead, as the Natural Area often experiences heavy visitation and wait time at the fee booth.

What to Wear & Bring

Class is held in an open-air building so please dress for the weather; bring water (1 liter per person), and a snack if you like.  


Group size is limited.  No pets please.  Minors must be accompanied by a legal guardian. To reduce human impact on the Natural Area, please follow the Leave No Trace principles of outdoor ethics.


This program is subject to cancellation.  On inclement mornings, check trail conditions by calling GCSNA's main office at 210-688-9055 after 7:30 am, or by going to the GCSNA twitter feed or the Friends of Government Canyon Facebook page.    

For more information about this program, email

Earlier Event: May 25
Hot Dog Pop-Up Event
Later Event: June 2
Map and Compass Basics